REVIEW: Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3)

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five-stars

In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

ELIZABETH CAMERON

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

IAN THORNTON

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth’s heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.

Destined for each other, yet wary of each other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

MY THOUGHTS…

Okay, I know it’s a bit late to write a review for this book, but since this is one of my favorite books up to date, I thought I’d share how I felt about this wonderful tale and how it made me think about a perfect, true love.

For me, this book is McNaught’s ultimate masterpiece next to Whitney, My Love. I’m glad it’s the first historical romance book that I’ve read since I found it really unforgettable. This book has everything. It has an A-factor storyline. It’s classy. It’s bewitching and truly a book that historical romance lovers can’t dare to put down.

“Look, Elizabeth, isn’t he divine in a sort of mysterious, wicked way?”

The characters here are remarkable. Ian Thornton, the unacknowledged son of a Duke, met Lady Elizabeth Cameron few years ago at a London ball. Their first meeting was a whirlwind romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well but instead, their ‘affair’ turned into a memory both of them didn’t want to remember at all. After few years, fate led them back together but this time, Elizabeth needed him for marriage. And so their romantic past was eventually rekindled in some sort of wicked way.

I know it’s a typical romance plot, but how can I ever explain how wonderful their dialogues were? The witty banter, the undeniable chemistry both characters exude, and the romantic twist Judith is famous for. And of course, the way McNaught makes you feel as though she’s taking you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. All of these are what everyone will expect from this book.

The Book Is…

Pros

Extremely romantic. A fascinating and compelling read, with beautiful settings that are well-defined.

Con

It has events that will make you feel anxious and heart-broken at the same time.

What I Think about the Characters

Elizabeth Cameron

I love this character. She possesses a rare gentleness which Ian fell in love with. I also love how McNaught defined her physical features. I can imagine that she’s really beautiful inside and out.

Ian Thornton

He appears to be a dangerously handsome man. I also admire how he became wealthy not because he is the son of a Duke but because he attained it on his own. He’s also a guy every woman dreams of.

My Rating for this book: 5 Stars (It’s worth re-reading!)

Favorite Quote from this Book

“Why did happy memories fade and blur until one could scarcely recall them at all, while horrible memories seemed to retain their blinding clarity and painful sharpness?”

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REVIEW: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Dreaming of You

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five-stars

She stood at danger’s threshold—then love beckoned her in.

In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven—and into Derek Craven’s dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from poverty to become lord of London’s most exclusive gambling house—a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world—with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper “mouse” can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress—and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion…and the promise of love.

MY THOUGHTS

So this is my first Lisa Kleypas novel and I have to admit that this author basically owned me after reading this. She writes the best characters– both male and female and a romantic twist that really sits well on me. Dreaming of You is one of a kind. I always have an undeniable taste in historical romances from the moment I encountered a Judith McNaught book. And now, Lisa Kleypas– she’s made of awesomeness!

This book talks about the beautiful country girl Sara Fielding who works as a novelist, and of course, the hot-damn sexy owner of a gambling house Derek Craven. They both met when Sara rescued Derek from a fateful attack. Sara, who went to London for the sake of research for her upcoming novel, eventually landed in Derek’s infamous underworld of gambling — only to fall for him in the long run. Being known as one of London’s notorious and wealthiest men, Derek wasn’t really the perfect man Lisa defined here. He’s one with a broken soul because of his unfortunate and painful childhood, which led him to be somewhat cautious when it comes to getting his heart involved with a woman. Realizing that he was also slowly falling for Sara, he intentionally let her go and sent her back to her local place, and basically tried to forget about her. But fate played irony on both of them as they met again and together, they battled their emotions whether to keep the attraction going or just let it slip away.

What I love about this book is the way Lisa made every scene unforgettable. The romance is alive, the sexual tension obviously exists, and the storyline is neatly done. Honestly, I’ve been through a whirlwind of emotions with this book. It has the right mix of romance and action all at the same time.

The setting is also worth noting. I love how Lisa described the beautiful countryside Sara was residing. I was also engrossed with the details the author described when it came to Derek’s gambling house. Everything was sophisticated! Totally love it!

The Book Is…

Pros

Superb. One with an unforgettable ending and a dramatic climax. Each character was presented with clear and well-defined personality. It’s also full of romantic and sweet scenes.

Cons

There weren’t any, in my opinion.

What I Think About the Characters

Sara Fielding

She’s actually a very admirable character. I didn’t have a hard time liking her. She’s plain and simple and yet very smart and headstrong. She’s not pretentious when it comes to showing her emotions and feelings for Derek.

Derek Craven

I have to admit that I wasn’t smitten with this man at first. But as the story went, I slowly developed a huge liking on him. He’s kind of aloof at first but eventually, I found out that he’s a sweet guy as he bared his soft side. He’s also very protective and passionate. He’s an ultimate book beau!

My Rating for this book: 5 awesome stars! 😀

Favorite Quotes

“Separately they had different strengths. Together they were complete.”

“I didn’t want to give you the one last part of myself that I couldn’t take back. And then you were gone… And I realized it was already yours. It had been since the beginning. Except that I hadn’t told you. It drove me mad, the thought that you would never know.”

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